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Picture Book: Donkeys, Saiq Plateau, Oman, August 2003.

Donkeys on the Sayq Plateau, above the clouds in the valleys. Temperature 25 Celsius at 2000 m, 40 Celsius on the coast.

Two donkeys, we passed them driving up the Sayq Plateau, a large over 2000 m high limestone plateau on the Western Hajar Mountains, part of the Northern coastal mountain ranges of Oman. Here the temperature is much cooler, 15-200 Celsius less than on the coast.

The vegetation is sparse, the terrain dominated by grey limestones. Any plant is nibbled off by donkeys or sheep. Given the moisture, this must have been a forest area a long time ago, possibly around 600 BC when Iran Dynasties controlled the area and the population expanded. After cutting down the trees the soil eroded as well exposing the rocks.

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